drinking in moderationWhen you’re reaching for that bag of chips or popping open that “cold one,” do you ever stop to ask yourself what void you’re trying to fill? Next time you blindly start to indulge (or overindulge) in your “escape” of choice, ask yourself what hole you’re trying to fill up by using food or alcohol…or whatever your vice may be.

You may be surprised…and it may be easier to fix than you think.  It could be that you are hungry, but reaching for numbing liquid to satisfy the feeling. Or you could be thirsty, but instead of getting a big glass of water, you grab a cupcake or two.  It just takes stopping in the moment and being mindful of what’s going on with you. And then give your body what it really needs or wants.

But sometimes it’s not that simple.  Perhaps you are lonely and single – except for being married to your job. Or maybe you have some residual trauma from childhood that has left you feeling empty and unlovable – in which case you may need to take some time to develop a more intricate plan to fix your issues, including seeking an expert that can help. Try using the following problem solving techniques to begin to resolve your issues instead of turning to your substance of choice to feel good for the moment:

1)      Take about 30 minutes to get quiet and think about what’s really going on with you.

2)      Identify the problem.

3)      Analyze the problem.

4)      Brainstorm and evaluate possible solutions. You may need to get some professional help to deal with certain issues.

5)      Put together a plan to accomplish the solution.

6)      TAKE ACTION!

It may take a little time to resolve some issues, but continue to takes steps toward fixing the problem instead of turning to alcohol or other escapes to cope.  Unless YOU make the changes, things won’t get better….they’ll more than likely get worse, so START TODAY!